The cool sleek hardwood floor brace my feet as I stand amongst a mixture of friends, acquaintances, and strangers while a flood of tears stream down my face. My chest heaving, my crying audible, and I’m navigating a flood of thoughts while trying to stay present with the emotions flowing through me. I’m at the Avalon ballroom at the end of Movement Mass, and Rising Appalachia is singing “Bright Morning Stars” through the sound system.
“What the f*ck is happening right now?” asks an inner voice. “Am I really crying in public? Seriously, Noah, can you get your act together,” says another, while a different voice retorts, “This is good, I’m modeling crying in public as male.” I surrender into gratitude for the release of a backlog of stuck emotions. Two loving friends stand by me offering their love and support. I slowly settle into stillness.
I imagine we’ve all be confronted with scenarios where our feelings get stuck. We consciously or subconsciously choke down uncomfortable emotions. Maybe it’s the wrong time and place to feel or express these emotions (maybe we believe that there’s never a right time for these feelings) or maybe we’re just overwhelmed. Regardless, when we’re living with stuck emotions, they can act as a vale, partially blocking our ability to experience other feelings and limiting our contact with intimacy and life.
In Chinese medicine, we say that emotions live in the blood, and that sometimes our bodies siphon off experiences that we can’t deal with into a secondary channel system called the luo vessels. The blood then thickens and congeals, locking away the experience and it’s related emotions until we’re able to digest it. Of course acupuncture and herbal medicine can help us with this process, but as I alluded to in the scenario above, dance can serve as powerful medicine too.
Dance can help us open up and move things that we’ve locked away. It can help us let go and release things we don’t need to hold on to any longer.
Our shorter weekly Mood Boost dances are more about a simple shift into an upbeat and alive state of being. But there’s also a time and place to let music and movement take us on a bigger longer journey. Rachael’s been facilitating monthly New Moon dances at our synagogue, Bonai Shalom. You can listen to this past months hour long playlist on iTunes or Spotify and if you’re interested in joining that dance, please email us and we’ll send you the details.
Starting on 4.27 at Yoga Intentions in North Boulder, Rachael will also be co-facilitating a monthly dance for mothers with our dear friend Livia Cohen- Shapiro. This will be a supportive space to journey with the experience of motherhood, with all of its joy and sorrow, through music and movement. An opportunity to get things that might be stuck flowing once again. A space for nourishment and care.
We know that your time and attention are precious and are delighted to share in it. We’re grateful to be a part of this wonderful unfolding process we call community (even if it’s currently mostly digital).